I’ve been learning so many new things about food lately! I adore the science behind cooking and baking (hence my adoration for Alton Brown) and its also really neat to learn that things you though were bad for you are actually not so awful if made properly. The problem comes when you don’t understand the science.
For instance. Deep frying. This is something I of course completely shyed away from for years because everything I’ve ever seen deep-fried was always greasy and disgusting-looking. It turns out when done PROPERLY, it actually absorbs LESS oil than traditional frying and if the food comes out oily at all its because the oil was not hot enough and therefore was not fried correctly.
Taken from about.com:
” Because most foods have some moisture in them, and because oil and water don’t mix, the food’s natural moisture creates a barrier against the oil surrounding it.
That means that while the heat from the oil cooks the food, the oil itself doesn’t permeate the food at all — unless the oil isn’t hot enough.
Remember the violent reaction of hot oil to a drop of water? The hotter the oil, the more violently it repels water and other moisture. Only at temperatures below 325°F will the oil start to seep into the food and make it greasy.”
INTERESTING!!! I will DEFINITELY be trying my hand at some real deep frying! I have a thermometer, and will be certain to keep my oil at the proper temperature and do it right! I can’t wait to get back to y’all about it!
Sausage Egg and Cheese Scramble
I just threw together some spicy sausage, onions, a little orange pepper and some garlic powder and scrambled it with egg and cheese. I threw some more cheese on top afterwards. I just wanted something easy that I could throw together quick and use up some extra ingredients. I have a lot of work to do so this got lots of protein into me to get me going! You can never go wrong with this combo! Next time I might use 2 different types of cheese, otherwise that’s the only change I’d make.
Spinach and chickpea gratin with creme fraiche topped with crispy Parmesan breadcrumbs
3 medium onions roughly chopped
4-5 cloves garlic roughly chopped
1/2 red chilli (with some or all of the seeds removed depending on how hot you like things) finely chopped
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 generous teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper
1 tin chickpeas
3 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan
2 1/2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
2/3 tub Creme Fraiche
Start by making the tomato sauce. Cook the onions in a generous glug of olive oil over a lowish heat until soft and beginning to change colour. While this is going on you can also put on your brown rice as it takes between 30 – 40 minutes although soaking it first will bring this down to about 20 minutes and makes it easier to digest. When the onions are ready add the garlic and chilli and keep cooking until everything is nice and soft (another 5-10 minutes) then add the tomatoes and sugar. Give things a good stir then season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until everything has reduced by at least half and is a gorgeous rich, dark red. While the tomato is cooking get on with the other ingredients…
Prepare your spinach by removing any thick stalks and washing it well. Wilt it in a pot or pan. There’s no need to add any water for this as there’s enough with what is left clinging to the leaves after you wash it. When it has wilted (this will take no longer than 1-2 minutes) put it in a colander so as much water as possible can drain off. Drain the chickpeas and rinse in plenty of cold water.
To put the dish together, add the chickpeas to the tomato sauce then pour all this into a medium sized ovenproof dish. Squeeze any excess water from the spinach and arrange on the tomato stew in clumps the size of small dumplings. Dot with Crème Fraiche then top the lot with the breadcrumbs and Parmesan.
Bake in a hottish oven for about 30 minutes until golden brown.
*Pretty sure I baked this at 350 for 30 mins, which was perfect. I also used goat’s cheese instead of creme fraiche, which I do not have. It was SOOOO good!!!! I was shocked actually at how good this was. I decided to eat it as was instead of putting it on rice (as it suggested). It was *perfect* that way!
I totally made this one up and it was off the wall crazy good, so I will try my best to remember how I made it!
1/4 lb Ground Beef
1/3 cup frozen Corn
1/3 cup frozen Peas
1/4 small Onion, chopped
1 Carrot, cut into small chunks
1/2 cup Beef Broth
1/3 cup Red Wine
1 T (or so) Worcestershire Sauce
Crushed Red Pepper
S&P (all spices to taste)
2 t Corn Starch
1 large Potato, peeled and cubed
1 clove Garlic, minced
Cook beef in saucepan. Empty onto a paper towel to soak fat/oil and set aside. Wipe out saucepan. Spray with a little oil. Saute onions. Add corn, peas, and carrots. Cook for a little while until peas and corn are thawed. Add beef broth, wine and worcestershire sauce. Add spices to taste. Allow to reduce for a little while on medium head. Add corn starch. Add more broth or wine as desired to thin or thicken the sauce. Cook until gravy is of desired thickness. Add beef. Cook to heat through. Meanwhile, boil cubed potato for 8 minutes or until soft. Mash. Add butter, sour cream, milk and garlic to taste. Pour beef and veggie mixture into an oven safe pan. Scoop mashed potatoes on top of beef. Bake uncovered at 350 about 40 minutes or until potatoes are browned on top. Enjoy!
*This was DELICIOUS! Totally the best cottage pie I’ve ever made!!!! It’s nice to know I can trust my taste in spices/ingredients. LOVED it!
HEY I got a major project done today! YAY!!! Life is awesome! I was gonna have some dessert, but I’m kinda tired as I had dinner at like 11:30 PM. Thats ok! I plan on having some form of apple spice something crazy in the morning with lots of sugar and stuff. Hehe.
Exercise: 1/2 hour of yoga, 1.5 hours at the gym